" He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


The Subway Sarin Incident

On March 20, 1995, members of the Japanese religious sect Aum Shinrikyo released sarin gas, a nerve agent, on several lines of the Tokyo Metro system in five coordinated attacks, killing 12 and injuring thousands. Carrying homemade liquid sarin packaged in plastic bags, the perpetrators boarded the trains, punctured the packets, and left them to vaporize on the car floors. More than 10 Aum members were sentenced to death for their involvement in the incident. What was the group's motive?



Dura-Europos: The Pompeii of the Desert

Dura-Europos was an ancient town on the Euphrates River in what is now Syria. Originally a Babylonian town, it was captured by the Romans in 165 BCE. Destroyed by the Sasanian dynasty in 256, it was abandoned, covered by sand and mud, and disappeared from sight for nearly 1,700 years until it was rediscovered in 1920. Its ruins give an unusually detailed picture of everyday life there and have provided finds including armor, paintings, and the world's oldest preserved version of what?

Born on a day like today



Publius Ovidius Naso, a Roman poet better known as Ovid, is ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature. Ovid was a great storyteller whose writings generally deal with the themes of love, mythology, and exile. His poetry, much imitated during late antiquity and the Middle Ages, had a decisive influence on European art and literature for centuries. Why did Augustus banish Ovid in 8 CE?

Last updated on Sunday, 21st March 2010

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